Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “key”

See all translations

key

noun [C]
 
 
/kiː/
IT any of the set of moving parts that you press with your fingers on a computer, etc. to produce letters, numbers, or symbols: Press any key to continue.
GRAPHS & CHARTS a list of the symbols used in a map, chart, or book with explanations of what they mean: For an explanation of these symbols, see key below.
the key (to sth) the best or only way to achieve something: The key is to prioritize your work, and to keep to your schedule. Hard work is the key to success. A focus on training is often the key to unlocking potential.
→  See also Alt key , arrow key , control key , escape , hot key , scroll key , shift key
(Definition of key noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of key?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “key” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

sail

When a boat or a ship sails, it travels on the water.

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More